Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Letters: Water district seeks partnership

October 25, 2007

The Eudora News last week provided thoughtful discussion of Eudora's recent annexation of Rural Water District No. 4's service territory, pointing out that the district, by reason of Federal law, has the exclusive right to provide water inside its territory, even after city annexation occurs. These federal protections prevent cities from taking water district territory that the district already is serving or can serve. These federal laws preserve rural water development; help reduce the cost of water to all served; improve the quality and quantity of water; and ensure repayment of federal loans.

Several years ago RWD4 took steps to ensure that it would have sufficient water for its entire service territory. It made a substantial investment in infrastructure, and it committed to buying water from the city of Olathe. If the district now relinquishes to Eudora the responsibility to serve one of its most potentially densely populated areas, the cost of water may rise fairly dramatically for those who remain in the more remote parts of the district.

Some are concerned that commercial growth in Eudora will be hindered by supplying rural water. In fact, thanks to the efforts of earlier district boards, the district is ready, willing and able to provide service to both residential and commercial areas in newly annexed areas of Eudora, while continuing to provide water to its rural patrons. It has the water; it has the lines. Cities like Spring Hill and Edgerton are expanding their boundaries by utilizing rural water. So can Eudora.

The district's patrons who live farther away from urban areas will not be disadvantaged by district service to city residents, as it is actually more cost-efficient to provide maintenance service to a densely populated area than to remote areas. In addition, further capital expenditures for this area already have been planned for by the district.

In short, the district believes that this is an excellent opportunity for the city and itself to partner together to provide full services to this developing area. Such a partnership benefits all concerned.

Kent Miller, chairman

Rural Water District No. 4

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